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AJR-17 Missing and murdered Native American women and girls.(2019-2020)

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AJR17:v99#DOCUMENT

Revised  September 10, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Joint Resolution
No. 17


Introduced by Assembly Member Ramos
(Principal coauthor: Assembly Member Limón)
(Principal coauthor: Senator Leyva)
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Aguiar-Curry, Burke, Carrillo, Cervantes, Cooper, Dahle, Eggman, Frazier, Eduardo Garcia, Gipson, Gloria, Gonzalez, Kamlager-Dove, Mathis, Medina, Melendez, Muratsuchi, Obernolte, Quirk-Silva, Reyes, Luz Rivas, Robert Rivas, Rodriguez, Blanca Rubio, Salas, Smith, Waldron, and Weber) Weber, Arambula, Bauer-Kahan, Berman, Bigelow, Bloom, Boerner Horvath, Bonta, Brough, Calderon, Chau, Chen, Chiu, Choi, Chu, Cooley, Cunningham, Daly, Diep, Flora, Fong, Friedman, Gabriel, Gallagher, Cristina Garcia, Gray, Grayson, Holden, Irwin, Jones-Sawyer, Kalra, Kiley, Lackey, Levine, Low, Maienschein, Mayes, McCarty, Mullin, Nazarian, O’Donnell, Patterson, Petrie-Norris, Quirk, Rendon, Santiago, Mark Stone, Ting, Voepel, Wicks, and Wood)

April 11, 2019


Relative to missing and murdered Native American women and girls.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AJR 17, as introduced, Ramos. Missing and murdered Native American women and girls.
This measure would request the President and the Congress of the United States to enact legislation that would strengthen the communication between federal, state, local, and tribal officials, and that would require the United States Department of Justice, United States Department of the Interior, and United States Department of Health and Human Services to seek recommendations from tribes in enhancing the safety of Native American women and girls. The measure would also request that the Attorney General of the State of California begin the collection of data as it relates to missing and murdered Native American women and girls.
Fiscal Committee: YES  

WHEREAS, California is home to more people of Native American and Alaska Native heritage than any other state in the country. According to the 2010 United States Census, California represents 12 percent of the total Native American population; and
WHEREAS, Native American women are being murdered and sexually assaulted on tribal lands and surrounding areas at higher rates than non-Native women; and
WHEREAS, The United States Department of Justice found that Native American women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average; and
WHEREAS, Among Native American women and girls, homicide is the third leading cause of death between 10 and 24 years of age, and it is the fifth leading cause of death for Native American women between 25 and 34 years of age; and
WHEREAS, California is number 6 of the top 10 states with highest number of missing and murdered Native American women and girls cases, and San Francisco is one of the top 10 cities with the highest number of missing and murdered Native American women and girls in the United States; and
WHEREAS, The majority of these murders are committed by non-Native people on tribal lands. Because of the lack of communication and collaboration between state, local, and tribal law enforcement, it is difficult to begin the investigation process; and
WHEREAS, In 2016, the National Crime and Information Center highlighted almost 6,000 reports of missing Native American and Alaskan Native women and girls in the United States, but the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System within the United States Department of Justice’s federal missing persons database, only reported 116 cases; and
WHEREAS, A study by the Urban Indian Health Institute, a tribal epidemiology center, analyzed why media and law enforcement agencies misrepresent cases of missing and murdered Native American women and girls. The analysis concludes that the lack of accurate data on missing and murdered Native American women and girls is due to deeply rooted institutional bias throughout the country, resulting in the systematic oppression of people of color, especially Native American and Alaskan Native women and girls; and
WHEREAS, These reasons are why cases on missing and murdered Native American women and girls go unreported, uninvestigated, and unsolved. If there is no data or tracking system there is no way of counting; and
WHEREAS, The Legislature affirms its commitment to prioritize efforts to work towards solutions directly related to missing and murdered Native American women and girls; and
WHEREAS, Given the uncertainty around missing and murdered Native American women and girls, it is paramount for immediate, comprehensive solutions to be put forward to accurately investigate, document, and share data between federal, state, county and tribal entities; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature requests that the Attorney General of the State of California begin the collection of data as it relates to missing and murdered Native American women and girls; and be it further
Resolved, That the Legislature requests that the Congress of the United States enact legislation to strengthen the communication between federal, state, local, and tribal officials; and be it further
Resolved, That the legislation require the United States Department of Justice, United States Department of the Interior, and United States Department of Health and Human Services to seek recommendations from tribes on enhancing the safety of Native American women and girls, and further requests the President to sign the legislation; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United States, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, to the Majority Leader of the Senate, to each Senator and Representative from California in the Congress of the United States, to the Governor, and to the author for appropriate distribution.
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REVISIONS:
Heading—Line 9.
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